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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 6

Sanjaya Malakar receives offer to don a KFC bowl hairdo on 'Idol'

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/03/2007 

Still competing American Idol sixth season finalist Sanjaya Malakar is already getting offers, but surely this couldn't have been what he had in mind.

KFC President Gregg Dedrick has penned an April 2 open letter to Malakar.  After congratulating Malakar for "catching America's ears... and eyes," Dedrick comments that the 17-year-old Federal Way, WA native's "ever-changing hairdos" have made him "almost as famous as Colonel Sanders."  This is followed by what Dedrick describes as a "tasty offer" for Malakar.

"If you don a bowl hairdo during one of your next nationally televised performances, KFC will grant you a free lifetime supply of KFC Famous Bowls.  We're sure America will be as 'bowled-over' by your take on this classic look as they are by our KFC Famous Bowls," wrote Dedrick in the letter. 

As enticing as free KFC Famous Bowls for life may sound, there's also an additional offer that would at least do some good instead of just giving Malakar greasy fingers and pants that don't fit anymore.

"In addition to free KFC Famous Bowls for life - if you sport a bowl cut, KFC will cut a check in your name to Colonel's Scholars, a charity providing young people with much needed college scholarships," wrote Dedrick in the letter.  "We're confident that helping students afford college is something that even the toughest of judges would stand and applaud."

Dedrick signs the letter "Your Fan," but given this isn't the first time KFC has tried to ride the Idol gravy train, "Publicity Seeker" would probably be a more appropriate signoff.

Last May 22, KFC offered the American Idol 5 runner-up a corporate recording deal -- giving one of the two finalists a chance to write and star in an advertisement for KFC Famous Bowls.  Of course, the offer came with a year's supply of KFC Famous Bowls as well.  While her response was never officially announced, we'll assume Katharine McPhee declined the offer.

It may seem depressing to Malakar that he's being deep-fried by critics and receiving offers from KFC, but at least one credible musician stood up for him... sort of.

"I think that they will call American Idol a joke [if Malakar wins]," Little Richard told Access Hollywood last Friday.  "I am not against him.  I am for him but the truth is... he is not the greatest singer they have had on there and he is not the worst singer that they have had on there. I think that the truth will prevail. If it is for him to win, he'll win."

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